We are excited to announce a lecture by Sterling Downey and Melissa Proietti, co-founders and co-directors of the annual Under Pressure graffiti festivals and Fresh Paint Gallery in Montréal.
Under Pressure is an annual graffiti festival that focuses on community development, artist empowerment, as well as positive youth development through ownership and responsibility of a shared space. Having just completed its twentieth year, the festival is the longest running graffiti and hip hop festival in North America. It’s an event done by the community for the community, kept alive on a volunteer basis. The festival takes place over two days during the first full weekend in August, throughout which stages are given over to performers from across Canada. B-boy and b-girl battles take place on Sunday afternoon. A kids’ area lets little ones get creative, and a skate ramp is set up for competition and open jams.
Founded in 2011 by the Under Pressure Graffiti International Convention, Fresh Paint is an alternative project working on giving new life to empty spaces by turning them into temporary cultural spaces. Fresh Paint Gallery is a space for exhibitions, education, and events. Influenced by street art and graffiti movements, Fresh Paint shows collective exhibitions with a mix of local and international artists. The space presents the best of emerging artists in street art, graffiti, pop art, graphic design, and illustrations.
Fresh Paint offers an alternative to the institutionalized and commercialized cultural system for artists and the public. Forget white walls, posh openings, elitism and egos, their project is authentic, for the people and accessible. Their volunteer team works hard to develop the following:
– promoting urban culture values such as DIY, authenticity, sharing, mentoring, self-affirmation, creativity, work, and involvement
– demystifying visual art
– supporting new emerging generations of independent artists.